Coronavirus Is Fading As The Top Issue On Americans’ Minds

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Andrew Trunsky Political Reporter
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COVID-19 is taking a back seat when it comes to the economy, education and more, recent polls show.

In a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, only about 12% of American adults surveyed said they would list public health issues, which include COVID-19, as a top priority, below economic issues like the job market and inflation. The poll also showed 73% of respondents saying political leaders should focus on growing jobs and the economy and two-thirds of voters, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, agreeing that “inflation is a very big concern for me.”

“When [Americans] look around they see other problems that need to be addressed,” Nicholas Valentino, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, told Reuters, adding that many were experiencing pandemic fatigue after almost two years. “They see job listings everywhere. They’re waiting in long lines at the grocery stores. They’re waiting for things to be delivered because the supply chain is slow.”

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: A customer shops for meat at a Safeway store on October 04, 2021 in San Francisco, California. The price for meat at the grocery stores has surged over the past year with beef jumping 12.2%, pork 9.8% and chicken up 7.2% since last year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Meat prices at grocery stores has surged over the past year with beef jumping over 12.%, pork by nearly 10% and chicken by over 7.2% since 2020. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Similar results were also apparent from the results of the Virginia governor’s race. Just 15% said that the coronavirus was the most important issue facing the state in exit polls, lower than the 24% who listed education and 33% who listed the economy and jobs.

Republican Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, who beat former Gov. Terry McAuliffe Tuesday after polls showed him taking the lead in final days of campaigning, held the lead on the two biggest issues as well. While 45% of voters said they trusted Youngkin to handle Virginia’s economy, just 39% said the same for McAuliffe, while 84% said that parents should have a lot or some of a say in what schools teach. (RELATED: Terry McAuliffe: ‘I Don’t Think Parents Should Be Telling Schools What They Should Teach’)

Youngkin also held an edge on who voters trusted to handle crime, which has risen since the pandemic told hold over the country in early 2020.

The Reuters poll was conducted from Oct. 18-22 among 4,430 adults, and it has a margin of error from 2-5 percentage points.

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